Weston plan for future after season closer

WESTON finished their Blue Square South season with a 1-1 draw on Saturday, and boss Craig Laird says he has already started planning for next season.

Although Laird said he was disappointed that the Seagulls had not bettered their 12th place finish of last season, he said he has already identified areas where the team can improve to be play-off contenders next time round.

The Seagulls went into Saturday’s home game against Dover without centre-back Matt Villis, skipper Ben Kirk and midfielder Brett Trowbridge.

Weston started the better of the two teams, with Nat Pepperell and Chris Young forcing saves from visiting goalkeeper Lee Hook.

Towards the end of the first half Young fired narrowly across goal and Dayle Grubb was only a few feet wide with a shot from distance.

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Dover improved at the beginning of the second half, with Tom Wynter’s effort taking a deflection for Billy Bricknell to force a diving save from home keeper Lloyd Irish.

They took the lead on 50 minutes when Wynter, Lloyd Harrington and Bricknell combined to set up Rob Edmans to beat Irish from 10 yards.

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But Weston were deservedly back on level terms on 66 minutes, with Grubb’s corner finding Jamie Price, who beat Hook in a crowded six-yard box.

The Seagulls’ Somerset Premier Cup final match against Clevedon Town on Tuesday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, with Laird hopeful that Saturday’s injured trio will have more time to recover ahead of the final.

It will now be played at Clevedon’s Hand Stadium at 7.45pm on Tuesday.

Weston finished 13th in the Blue Square South table with 51 points, and Laird said: “I’m a little disappointed because we were trying to improve on last year, but all-in-all we have had a good season and we have had a lot of good moments along the way.

“We were pushing at the play-offs at one point but we have a very small squad which got stretched at some points of the season.

“I think for next season we need to tighten up the defence, and that’s not just the defenders but the whole team.

“We also need to gain a little bit of strength and we need to bring in another strong leader who can add some experience. If we work on these things then I don’t think we’ll far away from what we want to do next season. We just need to freshen it up a little.

“I also want to thank the fans for their support too, I think the majority know what we are trying to achieve here and we are really thankful for all of the support we have achieved.”

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